Schooling children at home was not an unusual thing in the not-so-distant past. Settlements were often far apart and children were not often gathered in large numbers. Parents would purchase the textbooks most accepted as "necessary," such as the McGuffey Reader, and both parents would be involved in educating their children. In addition to learning "the three 'R's," students also learned the tasks of daily living and of spiritual and moral growth. Home schooling fell out of favor when people lived in more populated areas and when the federal government began emphasizing public education for all students.
The requirements of Home Schooling should be considered. The federal government requires that certain compulsory education requirements be covered for children attending K-12. Individual states may have other additional requirements. Parents should check the laws before starting to home school.
There can be drawbacks to Home Schooling. Home schooled children may have a reduced amount of age-segregated socialization with their peers. In addition to limited contact with children their own age, home schooled children are unable to participate in organized school sports that encourage teamwork and teach healthy competition with opponents of roughly equivalent age and skill. Children have fewer opportunities to participate in musical groups, concerts, and recitals. Although children can learn an instrument at home, they are unable to participate in school-related parades or events.
None of these things are entirely precluded by a child being home schooled. However, parents will need to work harder to ensure that their children can participate in them should their children be interested.
What are the Benefits of Home Schooling? Home schooled students are not around children of their age group as much as other students; however, most school students have limited interaction during the day. Rather, they interact with their teachers while competing with peers for those teachers' attention. Home schooling is usually conducted in the spirit of cooperation. Students taught together often work together, rather than compete to be the first to find the "right" answer.
Home schooling tends to be safer. Students are not exposed to hazards outside of dangers that exist in any home, unless students are anticipating in scientific experimentation or in rigorous physical education classes. Students do not need to worry about classmates with knives or illegal firearms, nor do they need to face going through a metal detector on a daily basis.
Sports are not a part of the regular school curriculum. Roughly the same percentages of home schooled students participate in after school activities as do their peers. It is also possible that home-based physical education programs are as effective as school-based programs, given that students are more likely to be active for the entire period and are not waiting their turn in class.